Gendering MDG indicators: Making Progress Relevant for Asian Women

Miriam Arnelle Azurin-Abaja Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development
6th Annual Research Conference, Population Association of Pakistan National Library, Islamabad November 29 – December 1, 2005

Why mind gender indicators?

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To make visible what is currently invisible To compare results To find out if there is a tendency toward progress To measure the impact of policies, programs or projects To bring commitments into development plans

Gender Equality and Women Empowerment

Gender inequalities stem from relations of power and authority, class or caste hierarchies and socio-cultural traditions, customs and norms Empowerment of women thus requires the process of transforming these structures and institutions so they can be ensured of equal access to sources of livelihood, health, and education, as well as to social, economic and political participation without discrimination based on sex

Women in the International Human Rights Agenda (Before MDGs)

1993 International Conference on Human Rights – “women’s rights are human rights” 1994 International Conference on Population and Development – reproductive health 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women and BPoA – concrete steps for GE/WE

CEDAW - detailed guidance on violence against women, health care and political participation

The Millennium Declaration and MDGs

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Pledge to peace and disarmament, security, development, human rights and fundamental freedoms Based on many consensus and human rights agreements of the 1990s, retargeted in 2015 Stress on gender equality “Road Map” - 8 MDGs, 18 time-bound targets, 48 indicators MDG indicators choice of UN Secretariat, the IMF, the OECD, and the World Bank

What’s missing in the MDGs?

No targets on MD promises to ..  Combat gender-based violence  Protect minority groups  Protect internally displaced persons from war  Reduce effects of natural and man-made disasters  Protect migrant workers and their families  Rights of developing countries to the benefits of new technologies No mention of ICPD  Reproductive health and rights

Weak gender-perspective  Explicit in some but not in all  to some, “narrow, simplistic, non-participatory and gender-blind”

MDG+5 puts “universal access to RH” but not SRHR

The Effects? 2005 MDG report says
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Asia: 70 percent of the world’s poor Southern Asia: 1/3 of child deaths , more than 1/3 third of the world’s child drop outs are also from this region (usually girls) Lowest attendance rate is found among minority groups HIV prevalence has increased throughout Asia, infecting more girls and women Women’s share in wage employment has minimal improvements Most women in Asia are still dying from giving life Environmental degradation worsens and suffers loss of habitat and biodiversity Women’s representation in Asian parliaments is still minimal especially in Western and Southern Asia

What are indicators?

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a pointer, a measurement, a number, a fact, an opinion or a perception that points to a specific condition or situation, and measures changes in that condition or situation over time. quantitative or qualitative measures the targets and goals we want to achieve

Gender Indicators
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Not merely data disaggregated by sex Measure conditions or situations that affect men and women differently Signal changes in power relations between women and men over time Determine access, use and control of resources and distribution of costs and benefits Point out changes in living conditions and in the roles of women and men over time Provide important inputs for planning, implementation, and evaluation of field projects

Gender indicators in every stage
The Millennium Declaration Ph se1 a

Ph se2 a


Ph se3 a

Criteria for Selection
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Policy relevance Analytical soundness Measurability and availability Appropriate level of aggregation

Some Relevant Gender Indicators

Poverty and Hunger • Prevalence of underweight children under 5 years • Percentages of population with access to credit Education • Ratio of female to male gross enrollment rates in primary, secondary, and tertiary education • Ratio of female to male completion rates in primary, secondary, and tertiary education • Percent of schools with PCs • Percent of schools with electricity

Some Relevant Gender Indicators

Sexual and reproductive health and rights • Proportion of contraceptive demand satisfied • Adolescent fertility rate • Proportion of donations allocated for RH drugs and services, by source • Number of facilities with functioning comprehensive essential obstetric care per 500,000 population • Percent covered by health insurance schemes packages Property rights • Land ownership by male, female, or jointly held • Housing title, disaggregated by male, female, or jointly held

Some Relevant Gender Indicators

Infrastructure • Hours per day (or year) women and men spend fetching water and collecting fuel • Proportion of population with sustainable access to solid waste disposal Employment • Percentages of women and men who carry out unpaid domestic work • Share of women in employment, both wage and selfemployment, by type • Gender gaps in earnings in wage and self-employment

Some Relevant Gender Indicators

Participation in national parliaments and local government bodies • Percentage of seats held by women in national parliament • Percentage of seats held by women in local government bodies • Percentage of women in governmental line agencies or units • Percentage of women voters of total number of voters Violence against women • Ratio of female to male live births • Prevalence of domestic violence • Number of internally displaced persons • Percentage of women who have ever experienced sexual harassment in the workplace (country and abroad)

Some Relevant Indicators

Disaster-Risk Reduction • Percentage of primary schools certified to be in conformity with hazard resistant standards relevant for the region • Proportion of population below $1 per day does not fluctuate with variations in hydro-meteorological phenomenon (rainfall, cyclones, floods) and hazard events like earthquakes • Percentage area complying with enforcement of no development or no construction by laws on lands classified in land use plans to be at high risk as per hazard risk maps Systems/Government Responsiveness • Percentage of obstetric and gynecological admissions owing to abortion • Proportion of (program: health, environment, etc.) expenditure of the total government expenditure and GDP

Policy recommendations

Strengthening of statistical capacity  National MDG reporting participated in by stakeholders  Framing of national development indicators to respond to CEDAW, ICPD and Beijing  Identify areas where efforts to strengthen statistical capacity are most needed  Encourages policy-oriented statistics  Provide adequate resources for gender indicators Oversight committee in parliament – PLCPD experience, 1st in Asia  To encourage accountability and expedite implementation

In conclusion…

Gender Equality and the empowerment of women are the cornerstones of a sustainable population and development programs
-1995 ICPD

Development policies and actions that fail to take gender inequality into account or that fail to enable women to be actors in those policies and actions will have limited effectiveness and serious costs to societies”

- UN Task Force on Gender Equality, 2005